Staunton, July 3 – Non-Russians generally oppose Vladimir Putin’s proposal to create a civic Russian identity, viewing it as a threat to their own nations because they suggest it is a hybrid way of pushing for their assimilation into an ethnic Russian one given the numerical dominance of the ethnic Russians.
But many Russian nationalists oppose the idea as well, arguing that the latest Kremlin idea is intended to deracinate their nation in much the same way that CPSU efforts to create a supra-ethnic “Soviet people” did and thus deprive them of the opportunity to push for the establishment of a Russian nation state and of a true “Russian world.”
Russian objections to a non-ethnic civic Russian identity may constitute an even bigger problem for Putin than non-Russian ones not only because they are more difficult for the regime to counter but also because they raise the possibility that there could be a linkup or at least a synergy between Russian and non-Russian nationalists.
And nervousness among officials about such possibilities may help to explain why even as the Putin regime promotes its own kind of civic Russian nationalism and a Russian world, the authorities have repressed Russian nationalist groups at least as harshly as they have non-Russian ones – and in some cases even more.
However that may be, the Russian nationalist positions on this issue deserve more attention than they normally receive, and Ramazan Alpaut of Radio Svoboda’s IdelReal portal helps fill the gap by interviewing some Russia nationalists about their objections to any non-ethnic one (